Fiscal impact study shows ballot questions will raise property taxes at least 3.4%
PORTLAND – A report released late Thursday by Interim City Manager Danielle West shows the 13 referendum questions on Portland’s November ballot will cost taxpayers a minimum of $6.5 million each year.
The report, requested by Mayor Kate Snyder, details only the direct, immediately quantifiable costs to the city from each ballot question, meaning the actual taxpayer impact could be significantly higher. The report identifies more than $2 million in new city payroll costs to implement the referendum changes, and at least $3 million in lost fees from cruise ship restrictions.
The report indicates that the fiscal impact of these referendum questions, pushed by the Democratic Socialists of America in coordination with former Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, will result in a mill rate increase of 3.4%.
“This is what happens when ballot questions are drawn up by a small group of activists looking to pass a political agenda with no regard to the consequences for working people and taxpayers,” said Enough is Enough chair Nick Mavodones. “Thanks to this report, we now have a better idea of the true cost of these reckless proposals.”
The report also states that the $6.5 million annual price tag is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential fiscal impacts to the City and taxpayers. It notes, in particular, the decoupling of the school budget from the city budgeting process leaves open the door for unknown and potentially unconstrained cost increases. The report also does not quantify the additional fiscal impacts from job losses,business relocation and reduced economic activity that will result if these questions pass.
“This report makes one thing perfectly clear: every resident of Portland will pay more if these questions pass,” concluded Mavodones. “Increased property taxes mean increased rents. And revenue shortfalls mean either sharp cuts to city services like public safety and education, or even more painful property tax increases. Portland residents and taxpayers simply cannot afford to pay millions for the DSA’s social experiments. Enough is enough. We urge Portland residents to vote NO on ALL ballot questions in November.”